Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Jumping Worms are a Thing, and They’re Here to Freak You Out
Forget flying cockroaches and killer wasps—Minnesota now has jumping worms to worry about. Okay, so, the invasive species doesn’t really jump out at you or have the capacity to cause any direct physical harm to humans who may encounter them, but they will fuck up your lawn and creep you out! Their superpowers include an insatiable feeding habit that can erode soil and the ability to clone themselves to create their own (incestuous!) worm communities. Perhaps most horrifically, "Jumping worms can shed their tail when disturbed and the severed tail will keep wiggling as the worms move away from danger,” University of Minnesota Duluth professor Ryan Hueffmeier tells Fox 9. If you find one in your garden or in your bait supplies, it is recommended that you douse them in gasoline and set them on fire. Well, it’s not really recommended that you do that, but that’s what we would do.
Expect More, Bootlick Less
Somehow, Target Corp. retains brand loyalty from supposedly progressive consumers despite relying on the same exploitative product sourcing and anti-union messaging as competitors like Walmart and Amazon. The Minneapolis-based retail giant’s paranoid propaganda around labor is long, documented, and even very recent. Bolstered no doubt by the tailwinds of union wins at Amazon and Starbucks, workers at a Christiansburg, Virginia, store made history Tuesday: They’ll soon vote in an NLRB election on whether to become the first unionized Target shop. “I’ve never seen this level of interest or sympathy for these ideas since I’ve been trying to organize,” Adam Ryan, a lead organizer with Target Workers United, tells The New Republic. “People are waiting for something to be the catalyst or the trigger that pops this off.” We reached out to TWU to see if any stores are organizing in Target’s corporate backyard.
Minneapolis-Born James Hong Finally Gets His Star
"I just want to feel the moment, you know what I mean?" James Hong told the audience along Hollywood's Walk of Fame Tuesday afternoon, noting that he hadn’t prepared a speech. To say that the 93-year-old actor has had a prolific career would be a grievous understatement; since his breakthrough moment on Groucho Marx's game show You Bet Your Life in 1950, he has since starred in over 650 films and plays spanning over 70 years. Highlights include roles in Bladerunner, Big Trouble in Little China, Wayne’s World Two, Mulan, and, most recently, Everything Everywhere All at Once. Hong was born in Minnesota to Chinese-American immigrants, and grew up in Hong Kong as well as downtown Minneapolis, where his family owned a restaurant. Before heading out to California, he graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and studied at the U of M.
The crowdfunding campaign to get Hong on the Walk of Fame was started by actor Daniel Dae Kim; it reached its monetary goal in about four days. "I want to thank all the fans and friends who donated their money. It boggles my mind to think that there's enough people out there who would do that," Hong told Variety in an interview shortly after his star was unveiled. "And I don't know who they are, so I'll just have to thank them through this article." Oh, and here's a clip of Hong celebrating—and dancing.
Fort Snelling to Snell Again
On May 28, Fort Snelling will reopen fully for the first time since 2019, the Minnesota Historical Society has announced. The site’s “Revitalization Project” began in June 2020, and since then the old visitor center has been demolished and the new Plank Museum & Visitor Center, with historic wood floors and wood windows rehabbed. The whole redo cost about $34.5, with about a 3 to 2 public-to-private funding ratio. The Fort Snelling website notes that the surrounding area, called Bdote by the Dakota, is the site of “essential stories of our shared past,” and that part of the project's aim was to help tell those stories more fully.
Looks More Like a Bird-Proof Squirrel Feeder…
Finally, from Reddit, here's a locally sourced wacky animal pic, captioned "So, my dad recently got a new squirrel-proof bird feeder..." Dads and squirrels—you never know what they're gonna do next.